People protesting the shut down of Greek TV – via Neurope
Lebanon’s public debt is still on the rise due to a slowing economy, unrest in the neighboring countries but more importantly due to the lack of structural reforms. Instead of giving the MPs a salary increase or even worse increasing their number, it’s time we cut down all unnecessary costs.
TeleLiban is one example of an unnecessary cost. In fact, people have stopped watching TL for years now (Unlike Greek TV) and it has become a joke. In my opinion, it should have been shut down a long time ago.
Greece is taking drastic measures to revive its economy and get back on its feet and the Greek people is the one suffering the most. The Lebanese people is already suffering economically and things won’t get any better if preemptive measures are not taken ASAP to cut down the debt.
Greek Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou made the announcement on the afternoon of June 11 saying that the corporations television and radio stations were to go off air at the end of the day. Kedikoglou justified the move by saying that ERT is a “characteristic case of lack of transparency and waste”, that it has not been audited for eight years and that it costs Greek licence payers 300 million euros a year through their electricity bill. He added that ERT had 3-7 times higher costs than private channels and low ratings and said that a new, leaner organisation will be created but did not specify when this would happen. [Link]
According to CNN Travel, Almaza is the No.1 beer in the Middle East and North Africa. Almaza is indeed great but now I am interested in tasting the other 5 beers on that list. I don’t think we have any of them in Lebanon though (Definitely not the Israeli one haha!).
In at number one is the king of Middle Eastern beers and the staple of any trip to Beirut, the one-and-only Almaza. At a low 4% ABV, Almaza may be a light and fairly standard pilsner, but served ice cold at a Hamra Street café on a warm summer evening, it amounts to far more than that.
“Almaza tastes like a Lebanese summer night would if you could bottle it, with a side of nuts,” said Beirut native Karl Baz, 33. [CNN]
Numbers for all the categories are available in Cloud961′s Issue [Here]
The official numbers for the 2013 Social Media Awards are out in the latest Cloud961 issue that you can download [Here]. I am glad they decided to roll out the numbers as it shows transparency and helps clarify things for participants and those who criticized the awards.
As you all probably know, BlogBaladi won the Blog Of The Year Award and I have to say I am shockingly yet pleasantly surprised by the number of votes the blog got!
If you go through the results, Only LebaneseMemes and Anthony Touma were able to gather more public votes, which is great! Even in the “Best News Blog” category, BlogBaladi got the highest number of public votes.
Having said that, Many thanks once again to the 1774 awesome people who voted for us and the 6 judges for their trust in this blog!
This means Lebanon is among the least peaceful countries in the world. You can download the full report and check out other countries [Here].
Here are few rankings related to Arab countries (Out of 162):
Saudi Arabia: 97
The 2013 Global Peace Index (GPI) shows that the world has become less peaceful, with a sharp rise in the number of homicides. The GPI measures peace in 162 countries according to 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators of the absence of violence and fear of violence. This is the 7th annual edition of the index.
And here are screenshots showing Lebanon’s rankings from 2010 till 2012.
Gary Low, the lawyer for the three Lebanese referees accused of accepting free sex – via DailyStar
First 24 Lebanese Football players get accused of match-fixing in Lebanon back in February 2013 and now 3 Lebanese Referees pleaded guilty to accepting free sex from a gambling-linked global syndicate in return for rigging a match in Singapore.
According to the judge, this is the first international football match officials are charged with corruption in Singapore.
It would be interesting to see if they will still be allowed to work as referees in Lebanon.
A Lebanese football referee was jailed for six months Tuesday after pleading guilty to accepting free sexual services from a gambling-linked syndicate which offered the bribe as an inducement to rig a match in Singapore.
Ali Sabbagh, 34, was described by a district court judge as the most culpable of three Lebanese football match officials charged with corruption in the city-state. [DailyStar]
Telecom Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui has launched an online campaign few days ago blaming Ogero Chief Abdel Menhem Youssef for the internet slowness lately and asking him to release the bandwidth. Youssef hasn’t been answering any requests or calls lately according to the ministry and causing Lebanon monthly losses estimated at 750,000$.
Here are the alleged Facts and Figures being shared by the Telecom Ministry:
- 1,200 = number of E1 requests taken as a hostage by Abdelmenhem Youssef
- 750,000$ = Monthly losses suffered by Lebanon and caused by Abdelmenhem Youssef’s highjack of the bandwidth
- 25%= Percentage of total Internet Bandwidth being released due to Abdelmenhem Youssef’s refusal to abide
- 2/3 = Number of Council Members needed, by Law, to remove Abdelmenhem Youssef from his position
- 3 = Number of Job Positions occupied unlawfully by Abdelmenhem Youssef #FreeTheBandwidth #FtahElHanafiyye
Having said that, Abdel Menhem Youssef broke his silence yesterday and asked the Telecom Ministry for a permission to answer those “false” allegations and even went as far as asking to investigate these claims and accusations.
I don’t know whether he truly requires the minister’s permission to hold a press conference but he’s apparently playing it smart. If I were Sehnaoui, I would invite Youssef instead to a round table to discuss all these matters, put the differences behind and figure a way out.
I know this is too good to be true, and that chances are slim complaints will be taken seriously but it doesn’t mean we can’t give it a try.
Here are the steps as shared by Gino to report ISF wrongdoings:
1- CATALOG IT. We all have cameras on our phones, take a video or photo of whatever you saw was wrong, and try to get the name of the officer, or number of the vehicle misbehaving
2- REPORT IT. You can call 01610610 and ask to speak to the Public Relations Office, headed by Colonel Joseph Mousallem. Identify yourself, explain what happened and display the evidence you have.
3- ANONYMOUSLY. The police officers that are crooked tend to watch each others back, and we don’t wanna see any of you get hassled if you try to report on misbehavior. That’s why, report it via their online complaints form that can be found here.
4- FOLLOW UP. Make sure you let us know what happens with your complaints, if you were listened to and if your concerns were properly dealt with and if the misbehavior was disciplined. If not, we’d love to name and shame the officers you caught red handed.
There’s a small detail that needs to be clarified here though: Are we allowed to take pictures of cops or army men? Logically speaking, there shouldn’t be a problem but I think they may have the right to ask you not to for security purposes (but definitely not when they are violating the law!). I’ll get back with an answer for that tomorrow.
Here’s the [link] to the online ISF complaint form.
In case you are wondering whether it’s better to swim in a beach or a pool, this LBC report and DailyStar article will make you reconsider going swimming in the first place in Lebanon.
According to the DailyStar’s article, samples collected from swimming areas in Nahr el Kalb, Jounieh, Tabarja, Ramlet al-Baida, Jbeil and Sidon all measured above the 100 fecal coliforms mark which meant that the beaches are no longer safe for swimming. The samples collected in Mina and Sidon came back borderline toxic!!
The results given to The Daily Star reveal a widely polluted coast undermining Lebanon’s image as a beach and resort destination. Unsafe levels of fecal coliforms can lead to rashes, diarrhea and vomiting and can spread disease depending on the extent of exposure.
Results can vary widely in the same city based on where the sample is taken, it often depends on where waste is exhausted, which is not widely regulated. Environment and Development Magazine conducted their studies at the American University of Beirut and will publish full results in next month.
I honestly stopped going to the beach since the 2006 war and the pollution that followed. I go to specific pools which I hope are as clean as I think they are.
“This is an emergency,” said Nada Zaarour, president of Green Party, about the study. “People shouldn’t be swimming at Lebanese beaches.”
“It’s a very serious problem that the Lebanese people are dealing with since we have some of the most expensive resorts on the Mediterranean coast,” she added.
I wish to ask the Green Party’s president about the activities or actions undertaken by her party in the past years to prevent all this pollution. I think it’s too late to call it an emergency at this point. This question goes as well to the concerned parties and ministries.
Very safe indeed! One protester was killed and several were injured Sunday outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. via Naharnet
Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud stated today that Lebanon is ready to welcome tourists and the decision Gulf countries took to prevent their citizens from traveling to Lebanon is wrong.
He also said and I quote that Lebanon remains the best when it comes to security when compared with countries around the world.
وإذ رأى أن الخطر موجود في كل بلدان العالم، أكد أن “لبنان يبقى الافضل على الصعيد الامني مقارنة بين بلدان العالم”، معلنا “عدم الاستسلام للارهابيين من أينما أتوا وستبقى أرض لبنان أرض المحبة والانفتاح والسياحة وهذه هي رسالتنا الى كل العالم”.
It’s just pathetic how we are trying to make use of the situation in Turkey to attract tourists. What Lebanon needs is a proper plan to set up touristic areas away from the conflicts and more importantly build a second airport in a neutral and safe area. There are plenty of things we can do instead of deceiving people into thinking Lebanon is the safest.
Few questions that need to be addressed to the Telecom Ministry after seeing this report:
1- How are expats and tourists being informed about these new measures? Is there enough marketing being done in the airport and online? Because the guy interviewed at first in the LBCI report obviously had no clue about these regulations.
2- The Telecom person interviewed is saying: “The problem is not with the line but with the device, because the line is not connected to any phone. In fact, you can use your line with a billion devices but the device will be linked to this line so if you want ur line to be used on another new and registered device you can use it, but if it’s a used phone than the device needs to be disconnected from the line.”
Something doesn’t sound right here. How can you use your line in the newly bought device if you don’t disconnect the old device from it? Can we use our line on two different devices?
3- If someone steals your phone, he can unlock the device by sending an SMS to 1014. If this is true, doesn’t that contradict with what Rita Khairallah from the Telecom Ministry just said in the report?
4- Why is it taking so much time in Touch and Alfa to register the devices or explain to the customers what to do? Everyone seems upset in the LBCI report.
5- One last question: I still want to know what is the point from these regulations because as mentioned earlier, I haven’t seen one person praising them or saying they are for our own good.
I’ve been following up on them for a while now and they deserve all the best for the hard work they are pulling! Alf Mabrouk to Zeina and all the Nawaya team.
Zeina plans with this opportunity to expand her reach to other regions of Lebanon, and hopes to be operating throughout the country by the end of 2014.
Added to that, the Nawaya Network announced the launch of an online platform back in May (Which I unfortunately couldn’t attend) that will allow individuals to connect youth with needed resources – all with the click of a button. You can already subscribe to it [Here].
Zeina Saab, founder of The Nawaya Network, has won the King Abdullah Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement (KAAYIA). She was presented with the award by King Abdullah of Jordan at the Dead Sea during the World Economic Forum on May 26. With the award comes a $50,000 grant for her NGO.
Zeina was one of more than 350 applicants from the Arab world, and was selected as one of 10 finalists from the region; she was the only one from Lebanon. In April, she was invited to Jordan to present her innovative approach to combatting inequality and poverty in front of a panel of entrepreneurs from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, and Lebanon, who then decided on three winners; the two others were from Egypt and Sudan.
Zeina’s NGO is based in Lebanon and focuses on empowering disadvantaged youth by connecting them to various resources to develop their talents or passions via an interactive online platform. The platform features youth profiles with short videos and summaries, and offers users the opportunity to support any youth of their choice, either by employing them, training them, mentoring them, sharing their story, providing them with material/equipment, or sponsoring them.